UC Berkeley Study Illustrates car2go's Growing One-Way Carsharing Service Helps Cut Traffic, Improves Urban Mobility

First-Ever One-Way Carsharing Study Conducted in North American Cities

car2go NA enjoying 25% YoY Growth, nearing 800,000 members

- One-way carsharing reduces the number of vehicles in cities, as well as vehicle miles driven

One-way carsharing cuts urban air pollution through the removal of older vehicles from city roads

- One-way carsharing integrates well with other urban mobility options to help cities move more efficiently

AUSTIN, Texas, July 19, 2016 /CNW/ -- car2go NA, the largest flexible one-way carsharing service in North America, is an integral part of urban mobility ecosystems according to a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). In its findings released today, the first-ever one-way carsharing impact study in North America confirms that car2go's flexible one-way carsharing model can complement existing mass transit options, reduces the overall number of vehicles on the road, and ultimately improves mobility in densely-populated urban areas.

"Daimler continues to push mobility innovation forward, and TSRC's new study demonstrates that car2go is notably improving mobility in North America's increasingly dense urban cores," said Paul DeLong, President and CEO of car2go NA. "car2go's growing U.S. and Canadian membership will only magnify the benefits to urban mobility through a network effect of more city dwellers using fewer cars. car2go's one-way carsharing model is a proven, flexible, and affordable mobility solution. The study illustrates that – by working in tandem with other mobility options like rail, bus, ride- and bike share – car2go is making urban mobility much more efficient while also reducing air pollution."

The new UC Berkeley study is the first-ever multi-city study to focus on one-way carsharing rather than the traditional round-trip car-sharing model. Since UC Berkeley first conducted its previous multi-city carsharing survey in 2008, many innovative mobility options have launched – including one-way carsharing – and this new study specifically analyzes the impact of one-way carsharing in North America.

TSRC is a globally-respected leader in conducting timely research on real-world solutions for a more sustainable transportation future. This study gathered data from nearly 9,500 North American car2go members residing in Calgary, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C, and analyzed car2go activity data from those cities.

"Vehicle ownership in cities can be expensive and inconvenient, with private vehicles sitting unused approximately 95% of the time," said Susan Shaheen, co-director for UC Berkeley's TSRC. "Our three-year research effort into one-way carsharing in North America revealed that car2go is having a beneficial impact on mileage driven, greenhouse gas emissions, and the total number of vehicles in the cities we studied. Participation from car2go and its members – the largest free-floating, one-way carsharing service in North America – gave us unprecedented access to activity data and member insights into this innovative mobility service in densely-populated cities."

car2go NA's rapidly increasing membership enhances the mobility mix in U.S., Canadian cities

More people every day are embracing the cost savings and quality of life improvements of sharing economy services like car2go. car2go is seeing a 25% year-over-year membership growth rate in North America as more people move into cities and embrace the benefits of the service. Today, approximately 800,000 North Americans use car2go to flexibly and affordably travel in 14 cities.  

An effective new way to reach consumers in an evolving urban mobility landscape

Carsharing services like car2go are changing the transportation landscape in urban areas for the better, creating new opportunities for automakers to expose their brand to a younger, urban-dwelling demographic that wants affordable access to vehicle mobility, but may not yet be ready to purchase a car. The brand connections automakers make today with younger urban consumers through car-sharing are expected to pay-off in the future when many of those very same consumers settle in suburban and rural areas to raise families and are ready to buy personal vehicles that best support that lifestyle.

"car2go's parent company Daimler is a true carsharing pioneer, having launched car2go in 2008 to push the boundaries of what mobility could look like in the 21st century," added DeLong. "car2go is part of Daimler's strategy to evolve from a traditional car manufacturer to a mobility provider that is able to offer customers flexible, intelligent and connected mobility in whatever form works best for them. That could mean a carsharing membership today and a vehicle purchase tomorrow. car2go complements Daimler's existing businesses very well and ultimately helps to attract new customers to high-quality Daimler products."

Key Study Findings:  car-sharing cuts volume of vehicles in cities, can complement mass transit, helps to improve air quality

  • Across the five cities studied, car2go members were found to have sold between 1 to 3 vehicles for every car2go vehicle.
  • 74% of the vehicles reported sold by car2go members were at least ten years old, helping to remove thousands of vehicles with outdated emission systems from urban roads. The average age of vehicles reported sold was 14.4 years old.
  • Avoiding (or suppressing) the need for a vehicle is another way that car2go reduces vehicles on the road. Each car2go vehicle was found to suppress between 4 to 9 vehicles.
  • Taking sales of older vehicles and avoided (suppressed) purchases together, each car2go vehicle replaced between 7 to 11 privately owned vehicles across the five cities studied – reducing vehicle miles traveled, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and the overall number of cars in urban cores.
  • Based on car2go NA's fleet and membership size in 2015, the presence of car2go in the five cities studied was estimated to have taken more than 28,000 cars off of city roads, reducing traffic and parking congestion.
  • car2go was responsible for a 6% to 16% reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) across the study population (average of 11%), as well as a 4% to 18% reduction in GHG emissions across the study population (average 10%).
  • It is estimated that car2go's one-way carsharing service prevented between 10 to 29 million VMT per year per city, depending on assumptions of suppressed mileage, which in-turn removed between 5.5 to 12.7 metric tons of GHG per car2go vehicle annually (on average).
  • More than 70% of all car2go members surveyed are not members other carsharing services. In four of the five cities, at least 60% of members surveyed said they were not members of any other carsharing service, while in one city (Washington, D.C.) it was 46%. Overall, one-way free-float carsharing like the car2go model provides a flexibility and convenience that is uniquely useful to tens of thousands of people as a carsharing option.
  • car2go is designed to work in-concert with urban mass transit systems. car2go was found to both substitute and complement mass transit, and car2go thrives most in areas with more robust mass transit. The study illustrated that car2go members paired their car2go trips with a bus trip up to 7% more frequently, and rail up to 8% more frequently since joining car2go. UC Berkeley researchers believe that continued integration between car2go and mass transit systems will extend shared mobility into larger and more diverse metropolitan regions.

car2go's service is also an option within moovel NA's new RideTap feature, an SDK that offers a network of ride options within any third party app, making it even easier for people to get from point A to point B. RideTap is currently being piloted with the city of Portland, Oregon via the TriMet Tickets mobile app.

To download a PDF of UC Berkeley TSRC's one-way North American carsharing study, please visit http://innovativemobility.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Impactsofcar2go_FiveCities_2016.pdf 

About car2go N.A. LLC

car2go N.A., LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, offers an innovative mobility solution in rapidly growing urban areas via a carsharing network of eco-friendly smart fortwo vehicles around the world. A flexible and "on demand" mode of transportation, car2go complements existing public transportation by bridging the gaps between the "first and last mile" of a member's commute. Today, car2go's global operation is the largest, fastest-growing carsharing program in the world with more than 1,900,000 registered members and a fleet of over 14,500 vehicles in 30 locations across the globe.

The innovation and environmental sustainability of car2go have earned international acclaim, including TripAdvisor's 2015 "Travelers' Choice" award, "Best Carshare" from the Vancouver Courier, "2015 Best CarSharing Service" from Best of D.C., "2014 Best CarSharing App" from Best of D.C., recognition from the Austin Chamber of Commerce with the "Greater Austin Business Award" for its positive impact on the city's traffic, and the prestigious "2010 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Further information on car2go is available at car2go.com and car2go.com/NA/en/press/.

About UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center

The Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) was formed in 2006 to combine the research forces of six campus groups at UC Berkeley: the University of California Transportation Center, the University of California Energy Institute, the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Energy and Resources Group, the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, and the Berkeley Institute of the Environment.

Since TSRC was founded, it has been a leading center in conducting timely research on real-world solutions for a more sustainable transportation future. In addition to performing research informed by a diverse array of perspectives, TSRC also engages in education and outreach to promote its core values of sustainability and equity, to ensure that we are able to meet the transportation needs of the present without compromising future generations.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160718/390807-INFO

SOURCE car2go N.A. LLC

For further information: car2go NA Press Contact - Michael Silverman, car2go N.A., LLC (Austin, Texas), 512-580-0415, michael.silverman@daimler.com; UC Berkeley Press Contact - Amanda Cairo, Institute of Transportation Studies, 510-642-5322, acairo@berkeley.edu

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